from the world's big
Why We Explore the Oceans
Question: What do you do as National \r\nGeographic's\r\nexplorer-in-residence?\r\n\r\n
Sylvia\r\nEarle: As explorer in\r\nresidence at the National Geographic I have license to play. I have a relatively long leash to be\r\nable to do what the title suggests, go explore. It’s\r\n really great to have the backing of that\r\ninstitution. They give me a little\r\nnest in Washington D.C. and the support to go out and put together \r\nexpeditions,\r\nto find the resources, to do what I try to do best, that is to explore,\r\nresearch, understand and take care of the ocean, especially the wild, \r\nnatural\r\nparts of the sea.\r\n\r\n
Question: How does the undersea world \r\nrelate to our life\r\non land?\r\n\r\n
Sylvia Earle: People have been exploring \r\nfrom the surface\r\nfor as long as people have been getting to the ocean, but getting into \r\nthe\r\nocean is still tricky business and it’s only in very recent times that \r\nwe’ve\r\nhad the technology that can take us more than as deep as you can go \r\nholding\r\nyour breath. Perhaps some people\r\ndid that centuries ago, but to actually go down and stay awhile, to be \r\nable to\r\ngo to 1,000 feet, 10,000 feet, ultimately the full ocean depth, that \r\ntakes more\r\nthan we carry around with us in our skin. \r\nYou need to have technology as a partner. Why,\r\n because that is where the action is. That is \r\nwhere most of life on earth\r\nis. That is where most of the\r\nwater is. 97% of Earth’s water is\r\nocean. Without the ocean, without\r\nwater Earth would be much like Mars, a bleak, barren, inhospitable place\r\n for\r\nthe likes of us and the rest of life on Earth as well. I\r\n somehow understood this from an early\r\nstage imagining first of all what does the ocean… what is the ocean and \r\nthen\r\nwhat would it be like without the ocean? \r\nOne thing that we didn’t know when I first began exploring was \r\nhow\r\nextensive the mountains and valleys or even life itself is in the sea, \r\nthe\r\ndiscovery of mountain ranges, of plate tectonics, the processes that \r\ndrive the\r\nmovement of continents that shape the character of oceans. Oceans come and go over long periods of\r\ntime. Those things have only come\r\ninto focus during the 20th century, mostly during the latter part of the\r\n 20th\r\ncentury and so far we have only seen about well 5% of the ocean. It’s a huge part of the solar system,\r\nthis planet that has not been looked at even once let alone put on the \r\nballot\r\nsheet with respect to understanding how the world works and why we need \r\nto take\r\ncare of the ocean.
Recorded April 14th, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen\r\n\r\n
97% of Earth’s water is ocean. Without the ocean, Earth would be much like Mars: a bleak, barren, inhospitable place.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.